What has the game of Yu-Gi-Oh! needed for players to succeed? Simple, in the words of 2010 World Champion Galileo de Obaldia, “consistency and versatility is key to win” The extra edge a player gains from knowing the game is knowing what other players are playing and what they are potentially going to side. At this point in the format risk and intelligence gets highly rewarded, for example maining cards like Chain Disappearance and Gozen Match in decks becomes a great asset in this format. Think about it most of the popular decks carry monsters that have 1000 or less attack of different attributes (Samurais, Agents, Tengu Synchro, Frogmonarchs etc.) this gives you an extra edge to have full control of the game. The reasoning behind this idea is due to the fact that you as a player in the current Meta are at greater probability to play against Samurais, Tengu Synchro, and TG’s. Lets get real everyone and there mother agrees that this dice role format greatly favors the average player and its getting to the point that skilled players are getting furious losing to bad players, no matter how good you are or how long you have been playing the game there is no possible play to get you out of an opposing first turn gateway and back row set up, Billy Brake can testify to that fact. Again, I repeat that consistency and versatility in deck building is key to a greater chance of losing the dice role and winning game 1 in competitive play.
What can I do to be more versatile and consistent? Judge, can he do that!!! Yeah, that’s right. Judges can also help you grow as a player. What do most skilled players have done in the past or continue to be a part of? The Konami Judge Program is the answer, as a player you are only familiar with the deck you play and the close circle of friends that run popular decks, but as a judge you acquire knowledge of bizarre rulings in the game that you wouldn’t normally learn at your locals. Now you might say that your wasting a perfectly good weekend of playing Yu-Gi-Oh! True, but you got to look at the bigger picture winning a regional, YCS, or topping at Nationals. You want to win right? Intelligence is the greatest factor any player can hope to have. A bonus to the judge program is the friendships you make with other player judges. Thus you have the chance to get to network with other good players outside of your local area.
In game play: Every duelist needs to learn about in game tactics that I will shortly explain. Remember to always sit down facing the clock to know how much time is left in the round, another potential edge you have over your opponent. In addition, take control of the tempo of the game, bring your opponent down to the your play-style by slowing down your plays. One good tactic is to pretend that you don’t know your cards by squinting and glancing at your cards, this makes your opponent feel overconfident that he is going to win, thus you opponent misplays and loses. Always have a straight face, don’t ever draw and say “oh fudge why did I draw this card” I mean if you are a good actor you might get away with fooling your opponent to think that you aren’t drawing anything decent. When in reality you are about to take control of the game. Make your opponent feel insecure about their plays, don’t ever look at them in the eye when you feel you are about to lose, always act tired or sleepy like a game of Poker. Remember never give up. Play until your life-points hit 0, there is always a potential card that can save you. Don’t ever say comments like “I got game next turn” “If I would have drawn this card” “Oh I misplayed” this makes you seem like a douche and people start to dislike you because of that. Own up to your loss and mistakes, losing is also a part of the game.
Another good tip: If you attend YCS’s, it’s always good to go up to a well known player like Billy Brake, Frazier Smith, Jonathan Weigle and etc. to ask their opinion on their play-style, the current meta or tech cards that need to be used. Don’t be afraid to ask them for question, most of them like to be approached and talked to. I remember back at YCS Anaheim I recognized Angel Flores and I just had to talk to him on what he was playing and his play style and he gave me really good advice 1. Slow down the tempo of the game to take control of the game 2. Always have a strong front never show weakness and play every scenario out in your head 3. Side out Solemn Judgment game 2 and 3 because you are only going to use it on a stupid play and lose. These few tips have helped me out a lot to grow as a duelist.
Lastly: Stay up to date on all the decks that are being played in other areas of the world. Since, Galileo de Obaldia won Worlds last year he has been a really good player to watch, he topped YCS Mexico, topped Panama’s Nationals for the 4th straight year and won his 2nd with Tengu Synchro and topped at the Central America Qualifier. Recently he made a YouTube channel and has shared really good tips on being a good duelist and deck builder. On the other side of the pond Michel Gruner has been making a splash wining YCS Bochum last year and recently winning Europe’s Championship with Tengu Synchro. This come to show that it’s always good to keep track all of the good players worldwide. It gives you insights on what decks are being played with what cards.
All of these facts and experienced have culminated my 1st year of competitive play in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh!
To all the current and future duelist,
Its all good until you dark bribe my upstart goblin.